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Re: Paul Graham's PyCon Keynote

Guy Steele - Sun Microsystems Labs <Guy.Steele@sun.com> writes:

>    Have you looked at Connection Machine Lisp? I took the liberty of
>    putting the paper on the internet,
>    http://www.bluetail.com/~luke/misc/papers/ConnectionMachineLisp.pdf
>    I was blown away by the novelty, and I'm very eager to hear some CM
>    anecdotes from the Thinking Machines veterans on this list. I
>    understand that CMs were applied to some interesting problems, but my
>    searches haven't revealed any "case study" type of literature to say
>    how it all turned out!
> Thanks for the praise.  Let me comment that CM-Lisp turned out
> to be harder to implement on a Connection Machine than we thought.
> I would say that the main claim to fame of CM-Lisp might be
> that it insired Guy Blelloch to design another language called
> NESL, which was thoroughly implemented and users were able to
> gain some real experience with it.

I'm most interested in hearing about the applications of the
Connection Machine itself. When I found out about the CM I thought I'd
discovered something really arcane, but it turned out that most of my
colleagues had either heard of one, seen one, or even hacked a prolog
on one :-). Since the CM got around so much, I'm very interested to
hear about nice things it was used for.

For one thing, it appears that the CMLisp successor you mention, NESL,
also targetted the Connection Machine.

But on the other hand, I had been googling for "connection machine"
when perhaps I should have been looking for "thinking machines", so
maybe there's plenty of details to be found online.

P.S., for other people reading the thread, I should also cite your
"Data Parallel Algorithms" paper, which describes a lot of the nice
things from the CMLisp paper in a more general way.

Luke (off to follow some links about Karl Sims..)